Last year, as part of the ‘Snorkel & Dive Perhentian’ a pre-World Oceans Day event, we had an impromptu reef clean up (it was actually a requisite of the SSI Ecological Diver course which one of our members was undertaking). It turned out to be so much fun that we are doing it again this year!
But this time, we are going to participate in Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris – an underwater debris data collection effort. Divers are going to haul the rubbish from the sea bed to the shore, separate the pickings into categories, log the rubbish and submit the data online. This survey is being carried out with the assistance of Alu Alu Divers.
According to Project AWARE’s website, “marine debris is any manufactured or processed solid material that, regardless of size, finds its way into the marine and coastal environment. These include materials discarded into the sea or on beaches; brought indirectly to the sea by rivers, sewage, storm water, or winds; accidently lost or deliberately discarded at sea; or deliberately left by people on beaches and shores.”
So why are we doing this?
To try and see the bigger picture as well as hopefully, help drive change in how waste is managed locally and globally. We are informed that Project AWARE will also share this data with other organisations, joining forces with local, regional and international stakeholders to end marine debris.
How successful this initiative will be is anyone’s guess. Everyone knows keeping our marine environment clean is a gargantuan task, but we’ve got to start somewhere eventually. Every little effort spent cleaning up – either the reefs or our beaches – has got to account for something tangible – and we see that in data collection.
The Marine Debris survey also complements our Clean Coast Index study (the data is submitted to the Maritime Institute of Malaysia.)
All divers who signed up for our ‘Snorkel & Dive Perhentian’ (now closed) will participate in the marine debris survey on June 2. For other divers who will be at Pulau Perhentian Besar, and who would like to participate, please click here.
This survey is an opportunity for divers to help conserve our marine environment. And aren’t we all a just little curious to see the wacky things that do end up in our oceans?